Cryptid Definition

Bigfoot in North West, North America (and other versions throughout the country). The Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. Florida’s Skunk Ape. What do all of these things have in common? Aside from their good looks of course? They happen to be some of the most well-known cryptids in the world. Cryptids are said to be mysterious creatures that are not recognized by the scientific community and that have not been proven to exist. Cryptids can be both living and non-living things such as animals, plants, and even geographical places. These creatures are said to have been spotted throughout history with various crafts of evidence to back up their existence. But what does a cryptid look like? Why do they seem to be so popular with the public but still not accepted by most researchers and scientists?

I’m sure you’d be able to think of some cryptids. The list is probably very large but here are a few of them to start with. Have you ever heard of some or all of these cryptids and if so, why haven’t they been accepted by the research world? Bigfoot in North America, the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland, the Skunk Ape in Florida, vampire bats in Brazil. From my experience, those are some great examples of cryptids.

What is a cryptid?
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, a cryptid is an animal that has been claimed to exist but has never been proven to actually exist. Once there is irrefutable scientific evidence of the existence of a cryptid, it ceases to be a cryptid any longer. What makes a creature qualify as a cryptid? According to the American Museum of Natural History, a cryptid is “An animal whose existence has been suggested but for which conclusive evidence is lacking. Well-Known Cryptids in no particular order: Bigfoot, Yeti, Skunk Ape, Chupacabra, River Monster, Man O’War; the Loch Ness Monster; Shamu the Killer Whale; Sasquatch/Sasquatch/Big Foot.

A brief history of cryptids: The word “cryptid” was coined in 1976 by cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans to describe animals whose existence had not yet been corroborated by science. Cryptids are also known as preternatural animal or mystery animals. Often regarded as the “Father of Cryptozoology

Well-Known Examples of Cryptids:
Based on its somewhat vague and heartily inclusive definition, the actual list of cryptids as well as their numerous categories, are both quite voluminous. However, there are some that are super recognizable – the A-List of the cryptid world, if you will. These elite monstrosities are the ones that the spotlight will be on today. I’m going to start off with the two most popular cryptids in the world. I’m sure you’ve all heard of them. These are Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch) and The Abominable Snowman. As the article mentions, there are many other well-known cryptids out there such as Skunk-Ape, Vampire Bats in Brazil, Yowies of Australia, and The Bunyip of Australia.

Cryptids of the Hominid Variety:

  • Bigfoot: Although there are many versions of the wild, furry ape-man throughout the world, the modern U.S, Northwest version went mainstream thanks to a column written by journalist Andrew Genzoli. The column was written in jest, highlighting a letter written by some loggers that had found some very large and mysterious, unexplained footprints in Northern California. The lore has grown since that September 21st day in 1958 and there have been many, many more sightings of our 7 to 9-foot, big-footed friend
  • Yeti: The Yeti, which is also referred to as The Abominable Snowman in western culture, is considered by scientists to be more of a complexity of folklore than an actual giant, hairy man as his cousins the Sasquatch and Bigfoot said to be.
  • Sasquatch: The Canadian version of Bigfoot although some in North America also use this moniker as well. Standing anywhere from 7 to 9 feet in height and typically described as being covered with dark, coarse fur.
Cryptid definition: A cryptid is “any of a class of supposed animals whose existence cannot be confirmed by mainstream sources”. This document has an extensive list of cryptids that can range from the normal to the bizarre, from the famous to the forgotten. A lot of these cryptids have little or no evidence to back them up such as Cryptozoology. It seems that if you do come across a creature that does not exist in any known animal species, it will most likely be classified as a cryptid. There are many alleged sightings and encounters with creatures of the unknown. Sightings of such creatures as the chupacabra, Jersey Devil, and Nessie all make up cryptids.

Otherworldly Cryptids:

  • The Jersey Devil: Although there have been many variations in his depictions in the 250 years The Jersey Devil has been growing his lore, it is generally agreed that he sports the face of a horse, the head of a dog, large wings like those of a bat, with both pointed horns and a devils tail. The creature has been blamed for wreaking havoc, including destroying crops, killing livestock, and pretty much scaring the bejesus out of the locals, throughout areas of Southern New Jersey as well as some areas in Pennsylvania. While there might not be much in the way of solid proof, there have been sightings by locals, government officials, and police officers.
  • Chupacabra: The Chupacabra, also known as ‘Goatsucker’ (Spanish translation literally means to suck goats) is often described as a small but powerfully built creature with a spiny ridge in the center of its back from his head to his tail. Sightings have been reported from Maine in the States all the way to the Philippines.
  • The Goatman: This half-animal, half-man creature has been known to roam the woodlands or both Maryland and sometimes Louisiana. There are several versions of his beginnings, depending on the region. One of the earliest mentions was in 1971 when a family blamed the creature for the decapitation of their dog. The dog’s head would not be found until many years later.
  • Loch Ness Monster: Ah, good old Nessie. Thought by some to be a relic from the dinosaur age, the Loch Ness Monster is one of the most famous cryptids in the history of cryptozoology. She is said to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. There have been numerous sightings throughout the years as well as more than a few believable hoaxes.

Whether or not cryptids are real or rather just mythical creatures with a logical explanation is largely still up for debate. However, the world is, in fact, a massive place, one with many mysteries we have yet to uncover. With all that is still unknown, it would be quite arrogant to think that we know all there is to know about the creatures that roam around us. Maybe, just maybe, we are the unexplained myth to them. It remains to be seen what truly lurks in the dark recesses of our world. However, until then, we may as well enjoy these creatures that are mysterious to us. Although many are just pure legends and not factual, they still bring a certain charm to our crazy world.

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